Creating an arena... on a very limited budget. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 08-02-2013, 10:57 PM Thread Starter
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Lightbulb Creating an arena... on a very limited budget.

I have three horses that used to be boarded in a nice barn. They would be in stalls for most of the day, then be turned out, and I'd do lessons on these horses a few times a week. I was jumping one of my horses up to about 4 and a 1/2 feet! Now, though, the money situation has drastically changed, and they live with me. We don't have stalls. All we have is the bottom of a barn (where the horses are fed/take shelter) and a paddock that is only an acre big and the horses have free access to.
I've been thinking a lot lately. It's selfish of me to have these horses and not exercise them. That's unhealthy! I can't ride one horse in the paddock though, without the other two chasing and getting angry. Plus, the paddock is built on uneven terrain.
My goal now is to build an arena. A DIY arena, because I can't afford help. Any ideas? I can't just buy nice posts and sand and level ground out... I wish I could, but that's out of the question. Would grass work as an arena's footing? I just don't know!
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post #2 of 17 Old 08-02-2013, 11:11 PM
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I don't do any sort of serious competing or training, just general riding. My arena is constructed of the plastic temp fence poles and 1 strand of electric rope. That's pretty much it. I keep the electric off, and my neighbor grazes his horses in it when I'm not riding. It works great for me and it's super affordable to put up.
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post #3 of 17 Old 08-02-2013, 11:12 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by swimminchikin View Post
I don't do any sort of serious competing or training, just general riding. My arena is constructed of the plastic temp fence poles and 1 strand of electric rope. That's pretty much it. I keep the electric off, and my neighbor grazes his horses in it when I'm not riding. It works great for me and it's super affordable to put up.
Probably a dumb question, but how tall are the plastic temp fence poles? I don't think I know which ones you're talking about
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post #4 of 17 Old 08-02-2013, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
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In case someone asks... I don't need to jump or do any 'serious' riding anymore... I just want to ride and exercise my horses!
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post #5 of 17 Old 08-03-2013, 12:01 AM
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You don't need an arena or even level terrain to exercise your horses. There's really no reason why you can't exercise them in their paddock for that matter. Ride one and tie the others up so that they can't bother you.

Until just a few days ago, my main schooling area was grass footing and didn't even have a fence around it. It's still just grass footing (used as a paddock when I'm not schooling in there) but at least it does have a fence now.

While my main schooling area at the barn is relatively flat, much of the countryside where I ride isn't. It's not at all uncommon to catch me loping circles on the side of a hill where a horse has to lope up one side and down the other. So long as there are no big rocks or big holes to step in, then you can school/exercise just about anywhere.
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post #6 of 17 Old 08-03-2013, 12:06 AM Thread Starter
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You don't need an arena or even level terrain to exercise your horses. There's really no reason why you can't exercise them in their paddock for that matter. Ride one and tie the others up so that they can't bother you.

Until just a few days ago, my main schooling area was grass footing and didn't even have a fence around it. It's still just grass footing (used as a paddock when I'm not schooling in there) but at least it does have a fence now.

While my main schooling area at the barn is relatively flat, much of the countryside where I ride isn't. It's not at all uncommon to catch me loping circles on the side of a hill where a horse has to lope up one side and down the other. So long as there are no big rocks or big holes to step in, then you can school/exercise just about anywhere.

The paddock is not that large and it's rather hilly. The horses do not like being tied... and they won't tolerate it. Also, we don't really have anywhere to tie them

Also, my horse, Twix, can and will take off if there aren't set boundaries. I'd love to just take off riding her in a field that's not enclosed, but I'm worried about me falling and her getting loose. We're right next to a road, and I would hate for her to run off (again).

If I had a super calm, laid back horse maybe that would be an option
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post #7 of 17 Old 08-03-2013, 12:16 AM
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Wow, um, it sounds like you maybe need a roundpen instead of an arena where you can spend some time on re-training all kinds of things.

You may take this as being rude, but it's not the way I mean it. You are making excuses for your horses behaving badly (not tolerating being tied, can and will take off if there aren't set boundaries, etc). Making excuses for them will not correct the behaviors.

The area where I ride is right next to a busy roadway where there are a ton of semi trucks and heavy equipment going by. I'm usually out there on horses with no more than 3-4 days under saddle, so hardly "super calm and laid back". It's all a matter of having the knowledge and ability to correct any shenanigans that might come up and putting the proper training on a horse before you put them in that situation.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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post #8 of 17 Old 08-03-2013, 12:18 AM
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And ther ya have it, work with them and make good horses. Yes, some are nut jobs, but sounds you've taken the role of enabler.
Work them in the open, tie them, ride em alone.

Please don't take that as an insult or rude, but it's how I took your posts. What you have for facility's shouldn't hinder you at all.

Eta: and smrobs beat me to it, I type slow.
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post #9 of 17 Old 08-03-2013, 12:19 AM
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Originally Posted by smrobs View Post
Wow, um, it sounds like you maybe need a roundpen instead of an arena where you can spend some time on re-training all kinds of things.

You may take this as being rude, but it's not the way I mean it. You are making excuses for your horses behaving badly (not tolerating being tied, can and will take off if there aren't set boundaries, etc). Making excuses for them will not correct the behaviors.

The area where I ride is right next to a busy roadway where there are a ton of semi trucks and heavy equipment going by. I'm usually out there on horses with no more than 3-4 days under saddle, so hardly "super calm and laid back". It's all a matter of having the knowledge and ability to correct any shenanigans that might come up and putting the proper training on a horse before you put them in that situation.
^^Agree. I would give them some round pen work, get them easier to handle, and earn some respect.
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post #10 of 17 Old 08-03-2013, 12:47 AM
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You don't need an arena to work horses, just section off an area that is reasonably level and there ya go!
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